Really Digital Natives?


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Students today have been described as ‘digital natives’, exposed to the interactive digital media from young, and savvy with the use of technology (Prensky, 2001; Tapscott, 2008).

This claim has received much attention and has also been notably challenged by others (such as, Bennett, Maton & Kervin, 2008; and Bennett & Maton, 2010) who noted that while there are many young people adept with technology, there are also others that do not have the level of access and technology skills.

More recently, Watson (2013) proposes the notion of ‘digital tribes’ and suggests that students from different nationalities different preferences and competencies in their use of technology.


Bennett, Maton, & Kervin (2008). The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidence. British journal of educational technology 39 (5), 775-786

Bennett & Maton (2010). Beyond the ‘digital natives’ debate: Towards a more nuanced understanding of students’ technology experiences. Journal of computer assisted learning 26 (5), 321-331.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. In On the horizon 9(5), pp 1-6.

Tapscott, J. (2008). Growing up digital: How the net generation is changing yourworld. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Books.

Watson, I.R. (2013). Digital Natives or Digital Tribes? In Universal Journal of Educational Research 1(2): 104-112, 2013


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